Friendly Advice to Would-Be Educators

DON'T DO IT: "Why would anyone willingly sign up for this madness?" That's the burning question from Missouri English teacher Randy Turner in this opinion piece, titled "A Warning to Young People: Don't Become a Teacher."

The 14-year teaching veteran leaves no stone unturned, highlighting lackadaisical administrators, poor pay, half-baked education reform, and even the upcoming Common Core State Standards as major reasons why teachers are "more stressed and less valued than at any previous time in our history."

It's difficult to disagree with the assessment, but the friendly advice is a little off-base. There remains many wonderful schools across the country actively seeking young, dynamic teachers to join their ranks. And not-so-wonderful schools putting forth an honest effort to improve the quality and commitment of their teachers. Not to mention tax-paying parents (the real customers?) who've sat idly while the tide has turned and spoken loudly when they perceive a problem.

By all means, if the idea of making "$37,000 a year after 14 years of experience" isn't appealing, don't be a teacher. But let's not let current events rob the future of the next great mentor, friend, coach, or inspiring role model that no technology, administrator, or legislation can replace.

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